Scottsdale, Arizona is ideal for day-trippers, especially with the upcoming fall weather. With so many things to see and do here, you’re going to want to make sure you get your first choice of accommodations before the best Arizona resorts start to fill up.
Day trips to enjoy the unique natural wonders and preserved parkland of Arizona are easy to make when you stay at the Scottsdale Resort At McCormick Ranch. The Grand Canyon, of course, is Arizona’s most well known national park. But, did you know there are more than 50 national and state parks in our state? Here are a few of our favorites that are within a two-hour drive of our ideal Scottsdale location:
Taking its name from the fabled “Lost Dutchman Mine,” Lost Dutchman State Park is a short 45-minute drive from The Scottsdale Resort in the Superstition Mountains. This Arizona state park features a variety of trails. The Native Plant Trail is an accessible, paved trail perfect for a slow meander. While a strenuous 5.8-mile round trip hike up the Siphon Draw Trail to Flatiron and back can take experienced hikers at least 5 hours to complete. In addition to nature and hiking trails, Lost Dutchman State Park has a four-mile mountain bike trail loop, picnic areas, campsites, and group use areas. According to legend, there are also caches of gold from the lost mine hidden near Weaver’s Needle - though no one has them it yet after more than 100 years of searching.
Little is known about the 650-year-old Casa Grande Ruins located just an hour southeast of The Scottsdale Resort. Casa Grande is believed to have been built around 1350 B.C. by ancient Sonoran Desert people, then abandoned approximately one hundred years later. Although it is one of the largest prehistoric structures ever built in North America, no one is quite sure what purpose it served. The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument became the first federally protected cultural and prehistoric site in 1892. The park features a self-guided tour year-round, but staff guided tours are available from October to mid-April. An average visitor spends about 2 hours at the Casa Grande Ruins, giving you plenty of time to be back to the Scottsdale Resort for a poolside margarita or relaxing dinner at Kitchen West.
The park’s namesake, Tonto Natural Bridge, is a natural travertine bridge currently believed to be the largest in the world. Located less than two hours from The Scottsdale Resort, Tonto Natural Bridge is an impressive 183 feet high over a tunnel that is 400 feet long. At its widest, the bridge measures 150 feet across. But all the details in the world simply cannot convey the majesty of this geological phenomenon that came to be over thousands of years. Visitors can stand on the bridge or hike down to the bottom and look up. The park has four hiking trails. A quick 15-20 minute hike up Waterfall Trail allows you to view the bridge from a distance. The other three get you to on top of or beneath the bridge itself and usually take about an hour. You may want to check the park website before traveling since occasionally some of the lower trails close due to high water.
These are only three of nearly a dozen state and national parks located less than two hours from The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch. Whether you are coming to Scottsdale specifically to see our preserved parkland or simply making a short day trip in the midst of other plans, there’s plenty of natural wonder waiting for you here. Contact us to book your scenic desert vacation today.